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Elizabeth A. Hennon, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor

University of Evansville
Department of Psychology
1800 Lincoln Ave
Evansville, IN 47722

eh82@evansville.edu

office: 812-488-2511

As an undergraduate, I fell in love with the study of children's language development.  I wondered - how can a child move from being unable to understand a single word spoken near them to being able to participate in back-and-forth conversations in the space of just a few short years?  What general skills underlie our abilities to master language so easily, and what skills do we possess that are useful exclusively for the development and processing of language?  In addition, I have been fascinated by the cases where language does not develop normally.  What can we learn from children who have difficulties mastering this complex system?  And, more importantly, what can our knowledge of "normal" language development teach us to help us better assist those children in reaching their fullest potential.  Out of these interests grew my graduate and post-graduate studies, and, indeed, the work I do today.  I have investigated the language development of typically-developing infants as well as children with fragile X syndrome, autistic spectrum disorders, and Down syndrome.  At the University of Evansville's Children's Language Lab, we are continuing to research the language learning skills of infants, toddlers, and young children.

I also firmly believe in the link between research and teaching.  Students learn through both traditional classroom experiences as well as through participating in hands-on settings, such as a research lab. Moreover, I believe that professors benefit from having a balance between research and teaching.  To love what you do, and to be able to explain why you do it to others, is the foundation of scholarship.  Active research leads the professor to remain up-to-date in their field, while active teaching forces the researcher to remain grounded in reality.

 
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